Thx for this one! Ordered two plus the clasp you recommendedMy fellow WIS, we did it…we finally found the Artem alternative…
I gotta say, I wasn’t entirely convinced when I saw the listing photos. The lighting they used was too harsh, so the surface didn’t look nearly as smooth as my Artem.
That being said, I did spot the matte lining that looked like rubber rather than the typical leather-backed sailcloths, so I went ahead bought 2. Im blown away by these. In fact, I might actually be more excited about these straps than the 5 watches I got during 11.11.
Artem on the right.
The weave is very similar, almost indistinguishable from the Artem.
Artem does have cleaner holes. This is something that I have been seriously impressed with on my Artem, and something no other strap I’ve purchased at any price has been able to match. But these are pretty damn clean too for $9.
The edges are rolled just like the Artem and looks almost identical in terms of finishing. The Artem does have a bit of glue/paint around the spring bar hole which these lack. (Artem has a spring bar in photo below)
The edges of the lining are glued down really well. I can’t speak to long term durability but I’m not too worried about separation. If I’m being honest, I forgot which strap is which in the below picture. I think artem is on the right.
Liner material feels nice on these. Artem feels a little more plasticky, sort of slick to the touch, while these have a little more friction like normal rubber.
However I think the liner on the Artem is more durable. I wore one of these overnight and there is a bit of wear already that shows on the bottom. The pin on the buckle is quite wide and flat and looks like it flattened out one edge of the hole. Though not really a fair comparison because the Artem has never come off of its deployant. This will likely go on a deployant as well.
The wear definitely shows more on the bottom than the top.
Speaking of the buckle, it’s a pretty solid chunk of fully polished metal but nothing special. Of the typical “parts bin” buckles, it’s better than the cheap pressed ones (on right) but worse than those brushed/polished milled ones (on left). Again, doesn’t really matter to me as it will go on a deployant.
The grey stitching actually matches the dial of my SPB143 better than the Artem and another similar one from BradyStraps (embossed instead of woven fabric). Really happy about the match as I’ve been holding off on grabbing a 20mm Artem just because of the stitching match. That being said, Seiko fat spring bars don’t quite fit in these, and the spring bars that it came with don’t quite work with the Seiko spring bar holes. I just modeled it in the photo but I’ll have to find something to actually wear it on.
Now for the comfort. Thickness is very nice. The Artem is a little thicker near the spring bars @ 5.8mm to 2.1mm at the holes, vs 4.7mm to 2.0mm. However the Artem is a 22mm which may be a little thicker than their 20mm. The padding is almost identical as both are copying the Blancpain straps. The comfort out of the box was also almost identical to the Artem. Artem advertise no break-in required, but it definitely required some break in to conform to the wrist. These were a tiny bit stiff out of the box as well but I worked it lightly to start a curve then wore it overnight and it’s basically perfect now. It curves around my wrist and is super comfy. Much more pliable than some other sailcloths I’ve gotten.
The keepers on the black stitch one is perfect. The fixed keeper on the grey stitch is perhaps a little tight, indicating a bit of variance in manufacturing. Hoping it’ll loosen up a bit with wear.
I’m super excited about these. They’re extremely similar to Artem and come in 20, 22, and 23mm. To recap:
My main gripes are the slightly too-tight keeper (on the grey stitch one) and the slight but noticeable wear on the bottom lining around the holes after one night of wear (due to how flat and large the pin is).
Everything else is excellent.
Edit: I maybe wouldn’t call the hole deformation “wear”, more just a change in its shape since nothing is ripping. Again, can’t speak to long term durability.
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